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Showing posts from April, 2015

More Than Words

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The other day my husband admitted something to me that I've known for a while. The words that came out of his mouth hurt more than I expected. I understand that things like this happen. We have five kids, busy lives, I have multiple disabling chronic illnesses, and I am not the same person as the one he married nearly twenty years ago. For that matter, he's not the same as the man I married, either. 

I could have yelled, screamed, and felt defeated. Instead, I saw the conversation as an opportunity for growth for both of us...as a chance for us to come closer together, rather than something that would break us apart. In what he said, I heard more than the words - I heard the hurt, the sadness, the longing for more from our marriage. 

Besides, I can see his point. 

He doesn't know me as well anymore -not as well as he did before we had children. We're not the kind of best friends we were when we got married. We don't share as many common interests, mostly because I'…

Some and Others

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I didn't change. My priorities did.

After my diagnosis, I could no longer afford to focus all my time and energy giving to others and little to none on myself. Needing to take care of my health, I had to step back from other things. Doctor appointments, new medications, side effects, radical changes in diet, declining health, increasing pain, limited mobility,  and just plain wrapping my head around multiple potentially devastating diagnoses took most of my time and energy.

And for this some called me selfish.

Others, though, stood by my side, supporting me, cheering me on. Finally I was doing what they had been urging me to do for so long - what I always urged others to do for themselves - I was taking care of myself. In getting myself on the track back to health, or my new definition of health, anyway, I could then better care for my children, my family, my friends. I could be a better friend, when energy levels and illness allowed.

My first priority has to be to my health, because …

Stop the World I Want to Get Off

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I'm tired of being tired. I'm sick of being sick. I'm literally and figuratively weighed down by weight I've put on as a result of prednisone combined with mobility and exhaustion issues and an over cold and snowy winter. I'm in so much pain these days, I can barely handle it. Those that know me know that that's saying a lot. Some days I just feel like crying. Days like today, I feel like giving up.

I look at all that has to be done to our house to make it manageable for me, and then at our bank balance, and wonder how it's going to happen. I want to give up and once again put the changes off until next year. I look at all the things I was hoping to be doing with my life at this point and what's realistic for me, and it gets depressing. 

I want to cancel everything, curl up in bed, and turn off life for a while.

A long while.

But then there's the upcoming visit from my mother- and grandmother-in-law this weekend, which should be wonderful. They are such…

Just Say No

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Scrolling through my Facebook feed, an article caught my eye. When I read my friend's "introduction" to the article, I stopped my hovering finger from clicking the mouse button that would bring me to the article. I knew I shouldn't read it, as it would only serve to make me angry.

The article was about things that a parent did not allow their child to say to adults. One of those things was the word "no," 
Not only do I not forbid my children to say "no" to anyone, but I encourage my children to say no if it's the appropriate word to say. Teaching a child not to ever say no to an adult or an authority figure is incredibly dangerous. Unimaginably dangerous. The possible consequences of teaching a child to blindly obey an adult can be horrific - abuse and abduction are the first to come to mind. But, you say, they'd know to say no in those situations. Maybe, but not always...not nearly often enough. 
Then something else popped up in my feed - a …

The Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything

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Have you ever been asked a question that you really don't want to answer - that really isn't any of the person's business? Questions that smack of genuine concern, yet also seem to pry a little too much into your life? Questions like, "What do you see in him?" or "When are you going to go back to college?" or "Wouldn't you prefer to be doing something more fulfilling?" Now, don't get me wrong, sometimes these questions are perfectly fine - but when asked by someone whose intent is questionable, we may not really want to answer. What is to be done?

Teens are asked about college prospects and their choice of major. Dating couples are plied with questions about the prospect of an engagement. Newlyweds are barraged with inquiries as to when they're starting a family. Parents get deluged with such questions from everyone they run into - even complete strangers - questions ranging from diapering to feeding to toy choices to every aspect o…

Leap of Faith

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Soon, we will pack up our house, room by room. We will move furniture, carpeting, and sub-flooring. Everything must go! Well, everything must leave each room for us to re-do our floors, anyway. We'll put most of it back eventually. 

This has to happen, as I can no longer put my health on the line tripping over our floor. You read right - I trip over our floor. Whether it's the transitions between rooms - carpet to floor, floor to tile - or the dips in the falling apart particle-board floor in the dining room with the coming-up vinyl tiles, it's dangerous for legs that don't work properly. If we're doing the floor, we might as well rip out the non-handicapped friendly breakfast bar monstrosity in our kitchen/dining room. Since our kitchen and dining room are essentially one large room connected to the living room - separated by stairs - the entire floor has to be redone...the hallway, too. And the bathroom. And most likely the downstairs bedroom as well. 

I feel compe…

The Depths

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As my husband was putting packages of turkey breast he'd just sliced into our chest freezer, Zachary asked him, what's at the bottom of the freezer? Familiar with the myriad veggies, meats, and blocks of mozzarella that float around the top of the freezer, he wondered what lurked in the freezer's depths. 

"Placenta," was my husband's response. 
"Oh, OK," replied the teen.
Apparently in this house, the announcement that there's a human placenta in the chest freezer is nothing unexpected or exciting - one more piece of irrefutable evidence that our family is weird.
Alia was born at home, a spritely 9 lbs 14 oz compared to her 10 lb 14oz brother Coren, also born at home. Coren's placenta was buried under a lemon tree on his first birthday. Alia was born in February - not exactly the best month for gardening. So the question comes to mind: what are we going to do with Alia's placenta? I suppose I should ask her, but I'm afraid of what she mi…

The Other Side of Easter

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On the other side of Easter, I'm taking a much-needed rest. My body fighting illness, in more pain and feeling more run-down than usual, it is a welcome calm before we launch into a busy Spring. 

On the other side of Easter, I feel... I don't know. Changed, somehow, by my forty day Lenten discipline. Changed by Holy Week and Resurrection Day worship. Changed by family and household circumstances that need my immediate attention - some good, and some problematic. I feel like I need to be more and do more with a body that wants to do less and a brain that wants to think less. And that I can't right now has to be ok.

On the other side of Easter, I've come to a greater acceptance and understanding of where I am in life. I've learned to listen more closely to my body, to my children, to those around me, and to my circumstances.

On the other side of Easter, I give thanks more and worry less. I look forward with hope rather than looking back in despair. I find as much joy in…

Forty: Resurrection

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The Resurrection is not a single event, but a loosening of God's power and light into the earth and history that continues to alter all things, infusing them with the grace and power of God's own holiness. It is as though a door was opened, and what poured out will never be stopped, and that door cannot be closed. ~Megan McKennaIt's been a forty day journey. Forty posts in forty days. Forty quotes, forty words, and many more deeds than just forty. Evidently we've reached the end of the path. Resurrection Sunday will dawn, and life will return to normal. 

Jesus' Resurrection does seem like the end of the story. True, it marks the end of Holy Week, nicely wrapping up our journey with Jesus to the cross, to the tomb, and now from the tomb, raised from the dead. It's a nice, neat package. 

But wait!

There are forty more days of journey to the Ascension - Jesus isn't done with us yet. Ten additional days of travel will then bring the Holy Spirit to us on Pentecost.…

Thirty-nine: Good

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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. ~Samuel Johnson
Good ... a good word for today. Yet it feels a bit "off," as Good Friday commemorates Jesus' crucifixion and death at Calvary. Not exactly the most pleasant thoughts to carry with you throughout the day, I decided to focus on the Good. 

During Jesus' life, He constantly treated all He encountered with love and compassion - even, and especially, when they could not give Him or do anything for Him in return. To the end, he lived forgiveness, assuring the man on the cross next to him that he would be with Him in Paradise. 

How often in our lives do we do things for those who can't in any way begin to "pay us back?" Why is it that we say to people, "I owe you one," or "you owe me one instead of giving or receiving freely?" Why do we expect, at the very least, gratitude in exchange for the good things we do for others? How often to we ask or…

Thirty-eight: Mandatum

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"In each of our lives Jesus comes as the Bread of Life - to be eaten, to be consumed by us. This is how He loves us. Then Jesus comes in our human life as the hungry one, the other, hoping to be fed with the Bread of our life, our hearts by loving, and our hands by serving. In loving and serving, we prove that we have been created in the likeness of God, for God is Love and when we love we are like God." - Mother Teresa of CalcuttaIt's Maundy Thursday, a day when we reflect on Jesus' celebration of the Passover meal with his disciples; when He made a New Covenant - a covenant of Love. Maundy, from the Latin mandatum: a command, a mandate of Love. He doesn't tell us to just love God, he tells us to love on another- requires us to love one another. 

This is not a Hebrew Scriptures commandment of "do not." It is a new commandment - one of action.  Just as Jesus loved and served others during his lifetime, he compels us to do the same. Just as Jesus comes t…

Thirty-seven: Holy

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However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do if you do not act upon them? ~Buddha
She said that the church is full of hypocrites. I didn't argue. She ranted about closed minds and judgmental people. I didn't disagree. She was shocked. I asked her why. 

I've seen it first hand, I said. People go to worship on Sunday, and as soon as their feet hit the parking lot, their obligation to their religion "met," they go on with their lives as it pleases them, not as it pleases God. For many, God isn't even an afterthought. 

But, I say to her, there are others. Others who walk out of church and into the world led by the Holy Spirit, not societal pressures. Who live their lives in the Water and the Word, to the best of their abilities. Who let their lights shine wherever they go, reflecting to the world God's love for all of us.

And there are those who fumble their way toward the Light -who are still learning and growing in understand…